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10 Best Airports For Layovers (PHOTOS)

First Posted: 02/04/11 08:41 AM ET   Updated: 05/25/11 07:30 PM ET

Airport layovers have always been the most-dreaded part of airline travel. But recent years have seen a slew of airport-management firms transform their facilities into mega-entertainment complexes featuring everything from golf courses and spas to aquariums and butterfly gardens, making a well-chosen stopover a rare win-win in the world of travel.

We asked our friends at Fodor's to put together their top 10 list of airports that give you reason to slow down during transit--or even hope for a delay.

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Dubai: De-stress & shop to impress
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Relaxing Zen Garden at Dubai Airport
Chance of Delay: 29.86%

What to Do
: Getting underwater is an excellent antidote to pressurized cabins not to mention a cure-all for jet-lag. Next time you're in this desert oasis, plunge into the Jacuzzi or swim a few laps in the pool at Dubai International's 24/7 G-Force Gym ($8/hour). Cool down at the airport's palm, pine, and fern studded open-air gardens, using the free wifi. Or set off on a shopping spree in the world's largest airport duty free Mecca, with over 58,000 square feet of shelf space devoted to perfumes, liquor, tobacco, and watches, the best sellers and remainders.

Insider Tip
: If you're flying Emirates and your transit time is more than three hours, you're entitled to a free meal at the Safar Restaurant in the main concourse.
Plan Your Trip: Fodor's Africa and Middle East Travel Guide

Photo: Zen Garden Courtesy Dubai Airports

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Filed by Kate Auletta  |